York arms dealer defends Nigeria weapons shipment

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An arms dealer on trial for exporting weapons without a licence is not somebody who breaks the law, a court heard.

Gary Hyde, 42, of Newton on Derwent, near York, is accused of arranging a shipment without the necessary permission from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The court heard 80,000 guns and millions of bullets were sent from China to Nigeria in 2007.

Mr Hyde denies the charges.

Defending barrister Stephen Solley QC told a jury at Southwark Crown Court: "He is not somebody who puts two fingers up to the regulations in this country, and says 'I am going to do this, I couldn't care less, I am going to do it from this country'.

"You will hear a completely different account from him"

He added that Mr Hyde has no criminal record and served for seven years as a special constable.

'Critical dealings'

Mukul Chawla QC, prosecuting, told the court on Tuesday that the consignment of weapons required permission from BIS as it had been partly arranged and organised from the UK by Mr Hyde.

The court has heard that the shipment in 2007 was made up of 40,000 AK47 assault rifles, 30,000 rifles and 10,000 9mm pistols along with 32 million rounds of ammunition.

Mr Solley told the court: "You will hear from Mr Hyde in due course that he arranged his life so that the negotiations, so that the critical dealings with the Chinese, all took place outside the jurisdiction."

Mr Hyde denies two charges of breaching the trade in goods (control) order act 2003 and one charge of concealing criminal property.

The trial continues.

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